Ajax v Manchester United 24/5/17, Stockholm

Jose Mourinho and his players will be facing an in form and confident Ajax side who in the first leg of their semi final blew away Lyon with a 4-1 home win. That first leg was immensely impressive from a side with an average age of 21 and although they nearly came unstuck  in the second leg the boys from Amsterdam went through into their first final since the glory days of Patrick Kluivert. Can the son of a Dutch legend repeat his fathers efforts in a European competition?Justin will be certainly be hoping so in Stockholm this evening. Looking at my graphic above i hadnt accounted for Viergever being suspended with Riedewald probably moving to left back for Ajax.  Having won just 3 of the last 6 games the season didnt end greatly for the Dutchmen but this is a massive game for the youn men and form shouldnt play a part.

Much has been said about Mourinho resting key players ahead of the Final but i still believe Carrick will be left out of the 11 with the fit again Juan Mata taking his place of course i may be wrong but i woukd rather fight fire with fire as Ajax can come at you fast and they move the ball extremely well and with pace and can well be out of sight should you let them with Kasper Dolberg will be a menace as will Chelsea man Betrand Traorè and midgield maestro Klaassen. Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic United have looked like they lack leadership and tonight they will need one. Pogba, Herrera and Valencia amongst others come into the starting 11 after being rested at the weekend. 

Essentially it is men against boys but if Ajax can get the first goal i think they will go on to victory.

My prediction: 2-1

Gareth Cooper


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